Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Though I am perhaps overanalyzing the current situation, I can’t help but think that Hegelian structures characterize the auction for Charlie’s painting that will be held this Friday.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
These are just a few of their expenses. Clearly, running an art gallery for the homeless is an expensive affair. And the amount Charlie’s painting has so far raised is really a drop in a very large bucket.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
(UrbanMinistry is the homeless shelter to which ArtWorks945 is connected. Here is a link to its website: http://www.urbanministrycenter.org/)
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Although I didn’t get to talk to all of the artists, I did talk briefly with some of them.
Here is a little bit about them and their art.
Ever since visiting the U.S.S. North Carolina at the age of 13, William has been obsessed with naval history. He has collected what he describes as a library of books devoted to the topic.
William makes remarkably intricate models of World War II ships from garbage he collects on the street.
The model displayed here is called ‘Fukushima’ in honor of the nuclear disaster that recently struck Japan.
Paul paints beautiful landscapes. He has been painting since he was 15.
He shares with his landscapes a self-reflective intensity.
Believe it or not, this is Leroy’s first painting.
Although he is quite an accomplished drawer, this is the first time that he put paint on a canvas. I was thrilled to get picture of it.
Christopher didn’t like this hand -- he erased it shortly after I took this picture. But he loves to draw.
Michael and Chris
Michael and Chris sew stuffed animals.
Michael has been sewing animals for eight years now, and Chris has joined Michael in the last four months.
I didn’t get to meet Tatiana, but I had to include at least one of her paintings, since they have such an amazing intensity.
Tatiana has one leg and signs most of her paintings ‘anonymous’.
Many more artists produce art at ArtWorks945 – I was only able to talk to the few that were there when I visited. The collection of art is, to say the least, inspiring.
ArtWorks945 holds an auction every year. This year the auction will take place September 10, 5-7 at their gallery at 945 North College Street, Charlotte 28206. Anyone interested in any of these paintings, or any of the many other paintings, produced by some remarkable artists should be sure to attend. Without a doubt, it will be time -- and if you purchase a painting, money -- well spent.
Monday, July 25, 2011
I must admit -- I found Betsy and Dexter very persuasive. What more does anyone need in life than an adversary and an ally?
Of course, it is one thing to want an ally and quite another thing to have one. After all, it’s not as if you can just go online and order one.
But once again, the Universe has seen fit to give me what I need.
Remember Dom? Yes, Dom. The artist extraordinaire, the visionary who produced Face With Line Through It, the artist whose work began the Van Gogh Project?
Well, he’s not my ally. But I feel pretty confident that he will be willing to help out however he can. Why? Because even though he’s not my ally, his mom is.
Shelly -- that is Dom’s mom -- works for the Nascar Foundation, which raises money for charity organizations. Yes, believe it or not, Dom’s mom holds fundraisers for a living. And better yet, when I asked Shelly whether she would help me arrange an auction for Charlie’s painting, she couldn’t have been more enthusiastic.
And we have at least the beginning of a plan.
We have gotten as far as figuring out where to hold the auction -- The Brickhouse. Nick, the owner of the Brickhouse, is a very generous man who has held many fundraisers. He also is an avid photographer as well as a patron of the arts. I haven’t yet asked him if he would be willing to hold this particular fundraiser, but I feel very hopeful that he will.
And we have two tentative months: October and February.
That’s about all we have – a place and two tentative plans. But I figure that is good enough for having at least the beginning of a plan.
So I now have an adversary, an ally, and a plan (sort of). If I could just get a little press, I might have a fighting chance against the Appraiser.
Friday, July 15, 2011
And who is she?
I wish I could say that she is a two-headed, bile slurping she-beast who lives in a cave beneath Yugoslavia.
But I can’t. Indeed, quite the opposite -- she is a very lovely owner of an art gallery here in town. I am quite fond of taking the twenty-minute walk to her gallery and looking at the paintings hanging on her walls. When I am lucky, she takes time to talk to me about the various artists who have made the paintings and the various techniques that they employ.
She is also a professional art appraiser.
So it seemed entirely reasonable that I should ask her what she thought of Charlie’s painting now that it has been damaged. And though, as I said, she is very lovely, I learned that she is also ruthlessly no nonsense. She asserted the following theses, what I shall now call The Appraiser’s Theses.
Appraiser’s Thesis #1: Charlie’s painting is worthless. (She actually said that the painting is either worthless or seriously diminished in value.)
Appraiser’s Thesis #2: A painting’s worth is determined by a set of rules that more or less track the status of an artist in the ‘art realm’.
Appraiser’s Thesis # 3: When a painting becomes damaged, the damage reduces or eliminates the value of the painting.
Appraiser’s Thesis # 4: Marcel Duchamp’s painting Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even is worth as much as it is because: (i) it was a great painting by a great artist; and (ii) Duchamp rectified the damage that was done to it by putting the broken glass back in its place.
Appraiser’s Thesis #5: The category – art that has been accidentally damaged but thereby improved -- is an inconsequential and hence valueless category.
I must admit that I was initially distressed by the Appraiser’s Theses. After all, they don’t bode well for the auction I want to hold for Falling Down Man. But then, as I walked back to my house, I began to realize that despite asserting such disquieting theses, the owner of the gallery had actually given me an invaluable gift: an adversary.
In every endeavor of any worth, there is always an adversary. Achilles had Hector; Napolean had Wellington; Patton had Rommel.
And now…I have The Appraiser.
Now, let me be clear. I in no way intend the phrase, 'The Appraiser', to refer to the owner of the art gallery with whom I talked, since I really do like her and she was acting in utter good faith when she gave me her opinion about Charlie’s painting.
No, I like to think that ‘The Appraiser’ refers to something like an abstract idea, one that represents a worldview.
At the core of that worldview are the five theses I just articulated. But more important than those theses is what lies at the periphery of the worldview: a collection of allegiances forming a tangled web that ensnares us all.
Here are some of those allegiances:
In other words, at the periphery of The Appraiser’s worldview are things that Van Gogh lacked. Indeed, he didn’t just lack them. He utterly lacked them.
And somehow that makes me happy: it makes me think that the Appraiser’s worldview is seriously defective. Moreover, it makes me want to give the worldview a name that sounds as defective as the worldview itself. So I will call it:
As I said, I think Appraisery must be false. And I hope that at least some others agree with me, since on Tuesday I visited Arts945. Just as a reminder, Art945 is the art gallery for the homeless to which I will donate the money from the sale of Charlie’s painting. It is an incredible place run by remarkable people. And I am hoping that at least some people who attend the auction will reject Appraisery so that I can raise some money for such a cool organization.
But I have learned that I can do more than hope. I can also tell the Universe what I want.
I want enough people to reject Appraisery that I will be able to raise a significant amount of money for Arts945 from the sale of Falling Down Man.
I want enough people to reject Appraisery that I will be able to raise a significant amount of money or Arts945 from the sale of Falling Down Man.
I want enough people to reject Appraisery that I will be able to raise a significant amount of money or Arts945 from the sale of Falling Down Man.
Friday, July 8, 2011
As I was walking to a local art gallery that is framing a painting for me I ran across my friend Chris Biby, who was talking to a friend of his, Brian, whom I had not yet met.
I had a lovely conversation with Brian. I learned among other things that he had been a student where I now teach and that he is a writer. Eventually, conversation turned toward his wife, Tyler, who, it turns out is the director of an art gallery for the homeless in Charlotte.
I really, truly at that moment couldn’t believe my luck. What better organization could I hope to donate money to from the sale of Charlie’s painting than one that is an art gallery for the homeless?
So I asked Brian for his wife’s e-mail address, contacted her and have arranged to meet with her on Tuesday of next week. I quite simply cannot wait. It looks like an incredible organization. It is called Arts945, which is part of a larger organization devoted to homelessness called the Urban Ministry Center.
Here is a link:
I must admit that events like this always have a peculiar effect on me. I can’t help but start thinking about the nature of coincidence. Was it a mere coincidence that I ran into the husband of the director of a gallery for the homeless just moments after making a decision that required me to find just such a person? Or was it…I can barely bring myself to say this…part of a plan? Or, just to play the part of a philosopher, is it possible that the dichotomy I have just drawn is a false one and that there are perhaps other options -- is it possible that the meeting was neither mere coincidence nor part of a plan?
I usually try to avoid asking those sorts of questions, since I have found that pursuing them too seriously can make you do crazy things like go to graduate school in philosophy. But despite my best efforts, I can’t quite seem to shake them in this case.
I mean, what the fuck?
Really, Universe, what the fuck?
I don’t mean that in a bad way. I’m incredibly grateful. But if you are going to keep this up, I might have to start doing some real thinking again about the nature of coincidence.
And I got tenure a few years ago, which is supposed to mean that I don’t have to think all that hard anymore.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
I have been doing a bit of thinking about the auction I want to hold for Charlie’s painting but, as usual, haven’t done much research into the matter. (That happens to be an occupational hazard of going into philosophy: too much thinking, not enough doing.) At any rate, it seems to me that I have a few options: I could hold the auction informally on this blog; or I could hold it through an auction house, either online or in an actual house. Which to do? I’m not sure. (That’s another occupational hazard: uncertainty.)
As I was mulling over the auction options at the Brickhouse, I happened to see Betsy and Dexter. We started chatting about what I should do with Charlie’s painting. Although they didn’t solve the problem as to where I should hold the auction, they did suggest to me that I donate all the money I raise from the auction to a homeless shelter rather than just 20%, which is the amount I had cited in my last post.
I was initially a bit luke warm to the idea. After all, doing so would mean the end of the Van Gogh project. Without any money from the auction, I would have no way to buy a painting thereby continuing the project. But when I pointed this out, Betsy looked at me, raised her hands, smiled her irresistible smile, and said: you never know, it could be the beginning of a whole new adventure.
I must admit, I couldn’t help but smile back at Betsy and tell her that she was right: I don’t know -- it could be the start of a whole new adventure. And then I started mulling that idea over – like I said, too much thinking is an occupational hazard. And though I am not sure exactly why I think this is a good idea, (though I do think that the Universe has been leading me in this direction the whole time) I am going to do what Betsy and Dexter suggested. I will donate all the money from the sale of Charlie’s painting to a homeless shelter here in Charlotte.
Maybe Charlie’s painting will fetch nothing.
Or maybe it will, as one of Betsy and Dexter’s friends who was chatting along with us proclaimed, fetch a million dollars.
Either way, I will donate all the proceeds to a homeless shelter.
Now I just need to do some research into homeless shelters in the Charlotte area.
And auctions. I need to do some research into art auctions.
And if I were really diligent, I would mow the lawn as well.
But it’s summer. And the Brickhouse is only a block away.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
(Just as an aside, I got my ass kicked when I went to the Mixed Martial Arts class. After thirty minutes of exhausting exercises and another thirty minutes learning two very basic jujitsu moves, I was put up against Marty, a blue belt, who proceeded to throw me around the mat for about five minutes before twisting my arm into some horrible knot causing me to ‘tap out’. To Marty’s credit, he kicked my ass gently. But he kicked it nonetheless.)
Falling Down Man presents a dilemma. I really do believe that it has entered a very select club of paintings as a result of the USPS chucking a spear into it. Moreover, I think that it *should* now be worth quite a bit of money. But of course, I can’t simply pronounce that to be the case. True, I announced Charlie’s Law a few posts ago according to which Falling Down Man doubled in value. But the fact is, the value of Charlie’s painting remains something of a deep mystery.
So how do I proceed? That’s the dilemma. I want to trade Charlie’s painting for another painting. But how much should that painting be worth? What is a reasonable price to put on Falling Down Man now that it has become one of a kind?
I do not know the answers to these questions.
But I’ve decided that there is a way to find out:
By holding an auction, I can let the market dictate a price. That might not be the ideal way to figure out Falling Down Man’s worth. But I’m not sure what other way there is.
In the not too distant future, therefore, I will hold an online auction. Because Falling Down Man concerns the homeless, I have decided to give 20% of the proceeds to a homeless shelter in Charlotte, which is the city closest to where I live. And I will take the remaining money and purchase a painting with it.
It won’t be a trade. But it should be an interesting experiment. And I hope that it will also allow me to move upward in my pursuit of a Van Gogh.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
I want to name another thesis. So I will. I will name it the Power Thesis, or PT for short.
The Power Thesis: Power trumps beauty.
What does PT mean? I’m not sure exactly. But I think a lot of people would accept it.
Conceptually, PT is a close cousin to another thesis that I will call the Time Thesis, or TT for short.
Time Thesis: Time conquers all.
TT, like PT, is appealing. Indeed, I’d likely declare TT to be even more appealing than PT, though I would of course understand completely why someone might disagree.
Yes, PT and TT are both appealing. But the fun doesn’t stop there, since PT and TT together entail what I have before called the Money Thesis, (though I must admit that I don’t think I could demonstrate the entailment – I blame it on the lack of sleep.)
Money Thesis: Economic value tracks aesthetic value.
And still the fun doesn’t end, since the Money Thesis and the following plausible thesis about the nature of value entail a radical claim about moral value.
Value Invariance Thesis: The fundamental status of value is invariant across domains.
If the Value Invariance Thesis is true, then what is true of aesthetic value, at least in terms of its fundamental properties, is also true of moral value.
The Money Thesis and the Value Invariance Thesis together entail what I shall call the Brick in the Wall Thesis, or BitWat for short.
BitWat: Economic value tracks moral value.
BitWat can be considered the core thesis in Economy Ethics, a relatively obscure but nonetheless influential ethical position.
If BitWat is true, a person’s moral worth is commensurate with his or her economic worth.
To my ears, BitWat sounds as if it must be false.
But it’s not that easy, at least from a conceptual point of view – you can’t just go proclaiming things to be false.
Why? Because BitWat follows (more or less) from PT and TT.
Yes, believe it or not PT and TT together get you BitWat. So rejecting BitWat requires rejecting either PT or TT.
Now, it seems to me that, TT has to be true – after all, time does conquer all. So I don’t think I would be willing to give up TT.
So it all comes down to PT. Should I give up PT?
Or does power trump beauty after all?
That, as they say, is the question.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
But that’s crazy! It’s only been a few weeks since the Universe gave me a great gift.
The USPS chucked a spear into Charlie’s painting thereby doubling its value and allowing me trade up along the OJ scale. The Universe couldn’t have given me a clearer sign that getting a Van Gogh is a genuine possibility.
I should be reveling in its generosity.
But instead I already want more.
Of course, I haven’t done two things that I need to do in order to keep the Universe on my side.
I haven’t gone to an MMA class yet even though I feel certain that the Universe wants me to go to at least one.
And I haven’t yet told the Universe what I want.
But…I have laid the groundwork for both of these.
Last night I went to an MMA studio to find out how much the classes are. It’s $100 a month for an unlimited amount of instruction in ass kicking. I am going to go to a class tonight as a trial run.
And I have thought quite a bit about what I want from the Universe.
Charlie’s painting is now worth 4 OJ, which puts me one tenth of the way to a Van Gogh. If I could jump to a 10 OJ painting, I would be one fourth of the way there. And that would be pretty amazing, especially since two significant events are approaching.
The first is the one-year anniversary of the Van Gogh Project.
And the second is the summer solstice.
How awesome would it be to find myself one fourth of the way to a Van Gogh on the summer solstice just one year after starting this project?
I’ll answer that question: it would be pretty fucking awesome.
I want someone to trade a painting worth 10 OJ for Charlie Spear’s Falling Down Man.
I want someone to trade a painting worth 10 OJ for Charlie Spear’s Falling Down Man.
I want someone to trade a painting worth 10 OJ for Charlie Spear’s Falling Down Man.
If anyone wants to trade a 10 OJ painting for Charlie Spear’s Falling Down Man, let me know.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
After Charlie saw the significance of what had happened to his painting, he said that he thought it had probably doubled in value. I agree. After all, as a result of its being damaged by the USPS, it entered a category occupied by very few paintings. And surely, such a fact increases its value.
Of course, there is no law in the art world that dictates Charlie’s painting doubled in value. But sometimes, when there is no law one simply has to make a law up. So I will. I will call it Charlie’s Law.
Charlie’s Law: When a painting undergoes a radical and accidental change thereby placing it in a completely different and more interesting category of art, it doubles in value.
Prior to being damaged, Charlie’s painting was worth 1.3 J’s. So now, after being damaged, it is worth 2.6 J’s.
The increase in J-value is good. But, as I talked about in a previous post, the measure I am most concerned with is the OJ. (Just as a reminder, an OJ is ten times the log of J. A cheap Van Gogh would be around 40 OJ’s).
After getting Jeanette’s Dora Maar, I wanted to see whether I could ascend the OJ scale. I had hoped to jump two OJ’s, which would be evidence that I could actually make it to a Van Gogh in a reasonable amount of time.
Well, prior to being damaged, Charlie’s painting was worth 1.14 OJ’s, which is good but not a huge jump.
But now, as a result of Charlie’s Law and basic mathematical facts about logarithms, Falling Down Man is worth 4.45 OJ’s, which is a little more than one tenth of the way to a Van Gogh.
It really is remarkable what math and a little help from the Universe can do.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
I. Falling Down Man is about the homeless at a time when homelessness is an increasingly serious and troubling problem in the United Sates.
II. The United States Postal Service abused Falling Down Man. (Everyone who has seen the painting agrees that it is difficult to imagine what could have brought about such damage.)
III. The symbolic connections between the abuse of a painting about the homeless carried out by a government agency and the abuse that the homeless suffer no doubt at least partly due to the United States government are so obvious and so poignant that Charlie Spear immediately felt the painting had been taken to a completely new level.
IV. Falling Down Man was already, before the abuse, an eloquent painting by an extremely prolific, well-established artist.
V. Those who have seen Falling Down Man in person think that it has been added to and perhaps even improved visually because of the damage – there is now a three dimensionality to it that wouldn’t be there were it flat.
VI. Finally, unlike Duchamp's Bride no one has altered Falling Down Man since it was damaged.
Scurry. Scurry. Scurry.
I believe the Supreme Court of Art would rule in my favor. Indeed, the case seems to me so overwhelmingly strong that I can’t help but think that the Universe played a role in the whole event. It just strikes me as so terribly peculiar. I think that Charlie is right: there is more going on here than the mere physical.
In any case, I do think that this event calls for a new term of art, a term that denotes the kind of action that the USPS performed.
In honor of Charlie Spear, I will call such an act 'Spear Chucking'.
To chuck a spear is to accidentally damage a painting only thereby to bring about its improvement.
Very few have chucked a spear into a work of art.
The USPS, however, chucked a spear into Falling Down Man.
Little did the USPS know, though, that Falling Down Man would stand up and thrive as a result of their spear chucking.
One must certainly hope that one day the same will be true of the homeless that Falling Down Man represents.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
A few days ago I asked my colleagues whether anyone knew of interesting examples involving damaged art that is deemed by the artist to have been completed or improved in some way by the damage.
I wasn’t disappointed.
Perhaps most importantly, someone reminded me of Duchamp’s name – I recalled the incident from an art history class I once took but couldn’t remember his name.
But I had many other great responses and interesting examples sent to me.
For instance, I learned about auto-destructive art:
Auto-destructive art is art that contains within itself an agent that automatically leads to its destruction within a period of time not to exceed twenty years. http://www.391.org/manifestos/1960metzger.htm
I learned about a British sculptor, Cornelia Parker, who likes to blow things up and put them back together. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornelia_Parker
I learned that the architects of the rebuilt de Young museum in San Francsico intended for the gradual corrosion of the copper exterior to be part of the artistic vision. http://deyoung.famsf.org/about/architecture-and-grounds
And many more things.
I also received an opinion about the category in question that concurs with mine. Ruth Beeston said to me:
I think that occurrences like you are seeking- where a work is "enhanced" in the artists' eyes as a result of an accidental or deliberate act by someone else- must be fairly rare. I'd be interested in hearing about any genuine examples you come up with.
I think Ruth is right. It does seem to me that the number of paintings of this type would be very rare.
But I also think that Charlie’s painting is one such instance. Falling Down Man may not be one of a kind; but it certainly is a member of a very small club.
I realize, however, that I haven’t yet made an explicit case for the claim that Charlie’s painting is a member of that club.
In my next post, I will.
Monday, May 23, 2011
So here instead are a series of loosely connected thoughts.
Charlie's painting, as a result of its subject matter, its quality and its being damaged by the USPS, has joined a remarkably small group of significant paintings.
The most famous example of such a painting is Duchamp’s ‘The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even’, which hangs in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
A quote from Wikipedia about Bride:
Going home from its first public exhibition, the glass broke in its shipping crate and received a large crack in the glass. Duchamp repaired it, but left the cracks in the glass intact, accepting the chance element as a part of the piece.
In one of his notes about Bride, Duchamp wrote: “Can one make works of art which are not ‘of art’?”
Most interpreters agree that Bride was on the edge of what might be called conceptual art.
One could, of course, accept the cracks in a piece of art because one is ‘stuck with them’, or one could accept the cracks because in some sense they better or make more complete the work of art. Duchamp, I think, was doing the latter.
Duchamp was right to do so. The randomness of the cracks fit perfectly with the idea of art that is not ‘of art’.
Most people typically think of damage as decreasing the value, aesthetic and monetary, of a work of art.
But damage could increase value, both aesthetic and monetary.
The following is a category of art: a work that is accidentally damaged by a human agent but that is made better or in some genuine sense more complete by the damage.
This would be analogous to an accident modifying an essence.
There are examples of this in biology.
There are arguably other instances of this in the art world, though many of the most well known examples aren’t quite as pure as Duchamp’s Bride.
The Liberty Bell.
The Venus de Milo.
Problems with the examples:
The Liberty Bell was a bell and so not ‘obviously’ a work of art.
The Venus de Milo would now look worse with arms but that is because we have become used to her without arms, not because the lack of arms completed her or made her better right from the get go.
The sphinx was not so much damaged as subject to a combination of decay and damage by a number of distinct individuals. Moreover, it may look weird were it restored now; but it no doubt looked absolutely glorious in its day.
Even Duchamp’s Bride is not a pure instance of the category. Why? Because he modified it after the damage.
There are, no doubt, many more examples.
I am more convinced than ever that Charlie Spear’s Falling Down Man is perhaps the purest instance of the type I have described. At the very least, it is the purest instance that I know of.
I will elaborate more in a future post.
Until then, if anyone wants to trade a painting for Falling Down Man, let me know.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
The buildings of Indianapolis can be seen in the background of Charlie’s painting. In the foreground slouches a marionette of some sort who has fallen and cannot get up.
The marionette clearly represents the homeless.
What an image. I can’t stop scrutinizing the marionette. It has, it seems to me, two faces: one real, one lurking recessed in the knees. The pathos of the homeless almost seeps from it.
I couldn’t be happier with Charlie’s painting. I think it is brilliant. Eloquent and brilliant.
Of course, it is a bit unfortunate that the USPS abused Falling Down Man.
No, that’s not quite right: the USPS ABUSED Falling Down Man.
One really has to see the painting in person to appreciate that fact.
I have had two wonderful conversations with Charlie, one before and one after I got his painting. He of course was a bit upset at what the USPS had done. Here is a statement that he wrote shortly after our last phone conversation.
I wanted to write my impressions on seeing and hearing the news of Falling Down Man...as "an abuse of the abused." Poverty is not a declaration of a person’s worth. The sight of the frame and knowing that the work may be destroyed as a whole piece had a ring to it with a spiritual resonance. The crisis this country is in today financially has put a lot of people in Falling Down Man's place. My wife works for WorkOne an arm of Work Force Development of Indiana. She deals with everyday people who worked for 15-20-30 yrs. and find themselves out of a job and out of unemployment. They are stranded in a sense in this financial purgatory or limbo...I know she has probably saved a few people from cashing out. She is a sensitive caring person. Falling Down Man is now more about the possibility of homelessness for anyone.
The sick feeling my wife and I felt when we saw the damage was real. The piece should have made it. This is the first time I have ever seen this kind of treatment from the USPS. Fed Ex and UPS have shipped damaged packages in the past but have gotten better in recent years.
I can't help but think there is something more going on here. Vincent's paintings were about the poor and the destitute. Failing as a preacher he became a painter following the leading of his heart. We look at his art and have a sense of possibilities. Unfortunately after shooting himself he died poor and basically homeless...I still would want the USPS to make this right...but more might be afoot than we see physically.
It has been a true pleasure getting to know Charlie. Among other things, he has helped me to see just what a peculiar fortune the Universe has bestowed upon me.
But why, one might naturally want to know, do I think the Universe bestowed a fortune on me?
The answer to that question is a bit involved and will have to wait for a future post. I will, however, say that it involves Plato and Duchamp.
Oh yes. One last thing: if anyone wants to trade for Charlie Spear’s brilliant and now perhaps historic painting, let me know.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I had been practically gnawing my finger off in excitement at getting Charlie Spear’s painting Falling Down Man.
So when I looked upon the damage that the USPS had wreaked upon Charlie’s painting, I felt like starting a revolution on the spot.
But of course I didn’t. No. After filling out a form and talking with the postal worker, who of course was quite right in pointing out that he wasn’t the one who had warped Charlie’s brilliant painting, I said ‘Thank you’ and walked out of the post office in a daze.
I have included two different pics of Falling Down Man.
The first pic clearly shows the extent to which the frame has been warped.
It is not obvious from the pic, but the frame is incredibly solid. So I can’t imagine how it got warped like that. Someone must have put a piano on it.
The second pic is of the painting as it now appears from the front.
Charlie is an incredible artist, and Falling Down Man is, in my opinion, an incredible painting. I had planned on talking about Falling Down Man and the rest of Charlie’s work. And indeed, I will in a future blog entry. Here are links to two websites where Charlie displays his work.
At the moment, however, I have to turn from Charlie’s work and simply report that the Universe taught me a lesson today. Yes, it did.
One might naturally have thought that I would be downhearted, livid perhaps, at what happened to Charlie’s painting. And I was just briefly. Well not livid exactly but definitely beyond flustered.
Had the USPS just torpedoed the Van Gogh Project? Had I returned to square one? Would anyone trade for a damaged painting? These are the questions that swirled around my head for a few hours.
But as I sat in my chair staring at Falling Down Man, after having talked to Charlie on the phone about what had happened, I inhaled the air around me and suddenly felt incredibly tranquil. My despair quietly receded and I couldn't help but smile.
Believe it or not, I realized that the Universe had just given me an incredible gift.
That may sound crazy. I know. And I'll try to explain myself in a future post.
For now I can only tip my hat to art and the universe.
Yes indeed. Art. It truly is a matter of perspective.
And yes indeed. The Universe. It really does work in mysterious ways.